Selective zinc sensor based on pyrazoles and quinoline used to image cells

Hyun Kim, Ga Rim You, Gyeong Jin Park, Ji Young Choi, Insup Noh, Youngmee Kim, Sung Jin Kim, Cheal Kim, Roger G. Harrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


The synthesis, Zn2+ binding, crystal structure, and cell imaging studies of a new pyrazole amine quinoline receptor with a flexible binding pocket are described. Upon coordination to Zn2+, the absorption of the receptor increases at 364 nm and it fluoresces at 500 nm. The fluorescence response to Zn2+ is selective for Zn2+ and does not occur with other metal ions, not even Cd2+. In solution, the receptor forms 1:1 complexes with Zn2+, but in the solid-state two Zn2+ ions coordinate to the receptor. The aqueous solubility of the receptor allows for imaging of Zn2+ in living cells. Cells exposed to receptor and Zn2+ fluoresce when excited with visible light.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)723-729
Number of pages7
JournalDyes and Pigments
StatePublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Financial support from Converging Research Center Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology ( 2012001725 and 2012008875 ), and Brigham Young University is gratefully acknowledged.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • Cell imaging
  • Fluorescence
  • Quinoline
  • Selective
  • Visible absorption
  • Zinc sensor


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